Three Championship clubs are now in a race to sign Nottingham Forest defender Steve Cook before tonight’s deadline. Sky Sports claims that Luton, Birmingham and Stoke are all keen on the experience centre-back.
It’s just over a year since Cook signed for the Reds. He slotted in between Scott McKenna and Joe Worrall in a three-man defence and his experience proved vital in the promotion push.
The 31-year-old departed Bournemouth after 11 years at the club to sign for Forest. He’s made 34 appearances for the Reds, including 14 in all competitions during the 2022/23 campaign.
Now, Cook has fallen way down the pecking order at the City Ground. With Felipe set to sign from Atletico Madrid, the chances of the promotion-winning defender playing look pretty slim.
Stoke are perhaps the best-placed team to sign Cook. They’re about to lose Harry Souttar to Leicester for £15 million and they need to think quickly in order to get a new defender in.
Luton and Birmingham are now in the race, however, and it looks as though there could be some movement before tonight’s 11pm transfer deadline.
Cook made 387 appearances for Bournemouth during his career. Although he proved an amazing free transfer in January 2022, the time has caught up with him in the Premier League and he looks to be over that hill.
The defender should leave with the utmost respect from Forest supporters, however. His signing served a purpose and in some games this season he’s looked okay, despite a lack of pace.
Three clubs in race to sign Cook
Whoever wins the race to land Cook will be getting themselves a cracking player. He’s strong, intelligent and he’s a leader of men who is tailor-made to play in the Championship.
Eddie Howe is a huge fan of Cook. He called the player ‘excellent’ many years ago when Bournemouth were defying the odds and finishing in the top half of the Premier League.
Stoke will perhaps move the quickest here. The Potters will be left extremely short at the back and Cook would be a very useful signing for Alex Neil’s squad on deadline day.